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Mark Ellis Rumors
The Rockies have expressed interest in free agent second baseman Jamey Carroll, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post. The 37-year-old enjoyed his time in Colorado and has interest in a return. However, the veteran might be too rich for the Rockies' blood. Renck sees Carroll's market value as something around a two-year, $8MM deal, as established by the Marlins' Omar Infante. Here's more from Renck..
- The Rockies' unwillingness to go to that range could also preclude a return for Mark Ellis, which hasn't been ruled out.
- The Braves will reportedly listen on Martin Prado and Renck wonders if Seth Smith would be enough to pry him away from Atlanta. Prado should get about $4.4MM in arbitration and the Braves are in search of a corner bat.
- With the Phillies aggressively pursuing Michael Cuddyer, the Rockies are a longshot to land the free agent.
- The Rockies have long been linked to David Wright but Renck doesn't see him as a likely acquisition either. The Mets will listen on Wright but if they lose Jose Reyes this offseason, the third baseman will be needed as a draw for fans.
- Veteran Kevin Youkilis makes a lot of sense for the Rockies there's mixed opinions on how available he is from AL sources. The Red Sox are left-handed heavy, and Youkilis provides balance to their lineup. Youkilis can play first or third, making him particularly valuable to the Rockies.
- Pitching remains necessary for the Rockies and Wandy Rodriguez is still a trade target. After the Rockies' organizational summit this week in Scottsdale, Arizona, activity will pick up with the focus narrowing on specific pitchers such as Rodriguez, Carl Pavano, Wade Davis, John Danks and Kevin Slowey.
- As the Rockies explore moving closer Huston Street, the Blue Jays and Phillies represent possible matches.
- You can expect the Pirates to pursue former Rockie shortstop Clint Barmes.
- The Mariners could be a fit for 49-year-old Jamie Moyer as he attempts a comeback.
The Rangers advanced to their second consecutive World Series last night. Today, Buster Olney of ESPN.com breaks down some of the crucial moves Texas made — and didn't make — that helped them return to the Fall Classic. More on that and a couple other items of note out of the AL and NL West …
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com feels that while the Rangers proved they didn't need Cliff Lee to win the American League pennant, they would not have done so had they traded Michael Young last offseason.
- The Rockies will move their Rookie level affiliate from Casper, WY to Grand Junction, CO, writes William Browning of the Casper Star-Tribune.
- The Rangers considered acquiring starters such as Zack Greinke and Matt Garza when Lee walked in free agency, writes Olney, but because the Rangers were stocked with young power arms, they decided to address other needs. Instead, they acquired players in Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli who were seemingly undervalued by their former organizations. Beltre, after the Red Sox moved on from him quickly by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and moving Kevin Youkilis to third, nearly signed with the Angels but felt he had a better chance to win with the Rangers.
- Though it appears unlikely the Athletics will gain approval to build a new stadium in a different nearby city, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle wonders whether they'd be able to build a new stadium at the site of the Oakland Coliseum. The NFL's Raiders, with whom the A's share the Coliseum, may relocate to a shared stadium with the 49ers in Santa Clara, which would leave the A's as sole tenants of their current digs, so they wouldn't have to consider any other team's needs.
- Mark Ellis provided some stability at second base when the Rockies acquired him this season, but the key stone has persisted as a unanswered question throughout Colorado's existence, writes Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. Ellis, an impending free agent, "figures to return" to the Rox in 2012, according to Armstrong.
- Elsewhere in Armstrong's piece, he writes that the Rockies will "dive into the offseason trade market in hopes of landing a quality starting pitcher." Three prospects whom other teams might seek are outfielder Tim Wheeler, infielder Nolan Arenado and pitcher Chad Bettis.
- Rafael Betancourt would be fine with closing next year for the Rockies, and the team likes what he's done recently in the role. Renck reiterates that opposing executives expect the Rockies to shop Huston Street this winter. Street has $8MM left on his contract for next year, assuming his club declines a 2013 option. The free agent market offers closers such as Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, and Ryan Madson, but those three will require multiyear deals.
- The Rockies would like to retain second baseman Mark Ellis on a one-year deal in the $3MM range, writes Renck. However, Omar Infante's new two-year, $8MM contract could decrease Colorado's chances of pulling off such a deal.
- David Wright will be a Rockies target this winter if the Mets show an inclination to move him. Wright is owed $15MM in 2012, and can void a '13 club option if dealt. Wright, 28, has a .253/.344/.426 line heading into today's action. He missed two months this year due to a back injury.
- Michael Cuddyer is a potential outfield target for Colorado, writes Renck, and signing him might mean trading Seth Smith.
Dan Uggla's incredible 33-game hitting streak came to an end today. The Braves' slugger batted an insane .377/.438/.762 over that stretch with 15 homers, good for an even 1.200 OPS. Remarkably though, he still falls 23 games short of Joe DiMaggio's immortal record. Here are your Sunday links:
- After fracturing a fibula today, new Diamondbacks acquisition Jason Marquis will miss four to six weeks. SI's Jon Heyman tweets that it sounds like the team's inclination is to replace Marquis internally. The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro doesn't think the team will go with top draft pick Trevor Bauer for the rotation spot, but notes that it's not crazy to suggest it. The 20-year-old Bauer tossed five scoreless innings today in his Double-A debut.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm, "We’re always open minded for Aaron [Hill] still being a long-term part of this team." Anthopoulos notes that Hill has flashed his talent at times this year. It's tough to picture the Jays picking up Hill's $8MM club option, but maybe they can work something out.
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post tweets that he would be surprised if the Rockies don't re-sign second baseman Mark Ellis. The 34-year-old had a .267/.304/.382 line in 139 plate appearances heading into tonight's action.
- If Bob Melvin is managing the Athletics again in 2012, he wants them to bring Hideki Matsui back, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Matsui had just a .617 OPS in the season's first half, but has risen from the ashes to post a .410/.470/.630 slash line in 26 games since the All-Star Break.
- Similarly, the Cubs and Carlos Pena both seem to be open to working out a new deal, writes Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com. On a related note, ESPN's Buster Olney hears that "in some important corners of the Cubs' front office, there is concern about investing huge money in one player this winter." In other words, the Cubs' brass might be wary of signing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to play first base.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wonders if the Pirates can follow the path to prominence that their division rivals, the Brewers, followed to escape a similar tradition of losing.
- Olney tweets that in three days, Drew Pomeranz can officially become the player to be named later from last month's Ubaldo Jimenez trade with the Indians. Pomeranz is expected to report to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate in Tulsa.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
One of the biggest trade chips in baseball – Carlos Beltran – joined the NL West this week, but a handful of impact players could leave the division within 50 hours. Heath Bell, Mike Adams (latest rumors), Ubaldo Jimenez (latest rumors) and Hiroki Kuroda (latest rumors) are all on the block. Here are the latest notes and rumblings from the NL West…
- The Padres have some interest in Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The Pirates' interest in Iannetta has cooled.
- The Rockies intend to try to re-sign Mark Ellis, who hits free agency after the season, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports.
- Tom Verducci of SI.com presents the nine pitchers to throw 500 innings for the Rockies before Jimenez. Jason Jennings, Shawn Chacon and Jeff Francis are among the pitchers on the list, so Verducci says Colorado “should absolutely see if they can prey upon the needs of the Yankees, Reds and Tigers.”
- The Giants remain interested in Ramon Hernandez, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Reds haven't made the backstop available at this point, but the Giants have had interest since early July (and perhaps earlier).
- Yhency Brazoban reached an agreement with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, according to a Sports Hochi report that Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along. We heard earlier in the week that the reliever was on the verge of leaving the Diamondbacks' organization for Japan.
No second baseman has suited up for the A's as often as Mark Ellis, but when the 34-year-old lost his starting job earlier this month, it became clear that his time in Oakland would likely end soon. Ellis' nine-year tenure with the Athletics is now officially over. The A's announced that they sent Ellis and cash considerations to the Rockies for right-hander reliever Bruce Billings and a player to be named later.
Ellis hit .217/.253/.290 this year and lost his starting job to 24-year-old second baseman Jemile Weeks. The veteran pinch hit for the A's and even played a little first base, but he wasn't producing on offense the way he did in 2010, when he posted a .358 OBP.
The A's exercised Ellis' $6MM option last offseason and the infielder will be eligible for free agency this fall. He still has $3MM remaining on his 2011 contract and the Rockies will cover $1MM of that, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Though Ellis currently projects as a Type A free agent, draft pick compensation was probably not a major factor in the deal, as there's no guarantee he'll receive an offer of arbitration.
The Rockies have used six second basemen this year: Jonathan Herrera, Chris Nelson, Jose Lopez, Eric Young, Alfredo Amezaga and Jose Morales. The group has combined for a .610 OPS, 23rd among MLB second basemen. Herrera, the Rockies' primary second base option, has struggled to hit nearly as much as Ellis; the 26-year-old has a .237/.311/.303 line.
Billings, 25, pitched in his first (and so far only) MLB game on May 27th, when he allowed one earned run on five hits in two innings against the Cardinals. The former 30th round pick has a 4.47 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in his first season at Triple-A and his first full season as a reliever.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
The Giants enter today's action riding a four-game winning streak and holding a half-game lead over the Diamondbacks in the NL West. Despite sitting atop the division, the team is looking for opportunities to upgrade. The Giants' search for catching help has them eyeing Yorvit Torrealba, and catcher isn't the only position where the club could use some help. Here are the latest updates on some of the Giants' trade possibilities:
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe confirms a previous report, writing that Mark Ellis probably won't be headed across the Bay. "We need RBI bats. That's what we're looking for right now," one Giants official said in shooting down the possibility of acquiring Ellis.
- A deal that sends Jose Reyes to San Francisco is looking increasingly like a long shot, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Even if the Mets decide to move Reyes, the Giants would be very reluctant to part with the prospects and pay the salary necessary to complete a trade.
- Within the same piece, Rosenthal quotes a Giants official's response when asked if the club would like to find a more offensively-inclined catcher than their current options: "Name me one (available) catcher hitting over .250."
Here's the latest on the A's and the Giants, including some trade rumors between the two clubs themselves…
- "The Giants are not pursuing" A's second baseman Mark Ellis, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. (Twitter links). The Giants at least checked in on Ellis but have cooled their pursuit for a variety of reasons, including Ellis' salary, his poor performance this season, Oakland's trade demands and the presence of Bill Hall, Emmanuel Burriss and Freddy Sanchez (who could still return from the DL) on the roster.
- Rival scouts have been watching Brian Fuentes and Craig Breslow, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Of the two southpaws, the Athletics would be more apt to move Fuentes since he has around $7.6MM remaining on his contract through 2012, whereas Breslow still has two more arbitration years left. Fuentes also stirred up controversy earlier this season when he criticized then-manager Bob Geren. These two pitchers and Jerry Blevins made MLBTR's Tim Dierkes' recent list of potentially-available left-handers.
- Eli Whiteside has been ignoring the rumors about the Giants' catching search, reports Chris Haft and Adam Berry for MLB.com. The incumbent starter has been hitting well lately, which Whiteside attributes to getting regular playing time.
- Another internal option for the Giants: Triple-A catcher Hector Sanchez. Schulman reports that Barry Zito was very complimentary about Sanchez's game-calling abilities during Zito's recent rehab stint at Fresno. Sanchez, 21, has a .299/.327/.495 line in 226 plate appearances this season, though just 42 of them have been at the Triple-A level.
Some people in the Marlins organization believe new manager Jack McKeon has exactly what it takes to deal with Hanley Ramirez, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. Here’s the latest on the Marlins’ shortstop, who is having the worst offensive season of his career:
- Ramirez’s stock “has dropped to Enron levels.” Some rival evaluators say that his poor start is more than a slump and that the shortstop needs to improve his physical condition.
- “If he doesn't change his body,” one scout said. “He's going to have to move [to a different position] sooner rather than later."
- Click here to check out Olney’s analysis of Ramirez from yesterday.
- No one believes the Phillies when they say they have limited financial flexibility for possible trades, Olney writes.
- The Orioles are another possible fit for Mark Ellis of the A’s. The Giants, one team with some interest in Ellis, have been considering other possible infielders, according to Olney.
The Mets released Wily Mo Pena on this date two years ago. The slugger resurfaced with the D'Backs yesterday, when he homered in his first MLB game since 2008. Here are some links for Wednesday night as Pena attempts to hit another homer or two…
- A scout tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Twins seem less likely to become sellers than they were a few weeks ago (Twitter link). Minnesota has re-entered the playoff race thanks to a 14-3 tear.
- Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears that the Giants are not one of the six teams on Mark Ellis’ no-trade list (Twitter link). Ellis has lost his starting second base job in Oakland and the Giants have had internal talks about obtaining him.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that top draft choices Gerrit Cole (Pirates) and Danny Hultzen (Mariners) will sign for roughly $10MM or so. Two high school arms, Archie Bradley (D’Backs) and Dylan Bundy (Orioles), will likely obtain $6-7MM and some executives see high school outfielder Bubba Starling (Royals) signing for more than Cole or Hultzen.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick examines the case for expanding active rosters to 26 players. Teams now have sprawling bullpens and demanding travel schedules, so there's support for bigger rosters from Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd, Marlins infielder Wes Helms and others.